New York Philharmonic To Play Theme From “Platoon”

Orchestra will play "Adagio for Strings" when it visits Vietnam

When the New York Philharmonic travels to Hanoi for it's debut performance in Vietnam this October, there will be a unique number on their set list.

Reuters reports that the orchestra will play, "Adagio for Strings," the theme from the 1986 Oscar winning picture, Platoon. The tune will be in addition to other classics from Beethoven and Mozart that the orchestra also plans on playing.

In a preparatory visit to Hanoi this week, music director-designate Alan Gilbert told reporters that the selection was made largely because of the quality of the music.

The film, directed by Oliver Stone, follows a new recruit played by Charlie Sheen who experiences the realities of the Vietnam War in graphically moving detail. "Platoon" was largely based on Stone's own experience as an infantryman in Vietnam and is highly regarded by film critics.

Gilbert also said that the orchestra likes to play American music when it goes on tour. The piece is largely based on string instruments making the limited space in the highly regarded Hanoi Opera House a non-factor.

It was also too good of an opportunity to pass up.

The Philharmonic made contact with the Vietnamese diplomats in the United States, and soon they were invited to visit and play in the colonial structure.

"We said, look, Vietnam is a place where we know there's this wonderful opera house," said Zarin Mehta, the Philharmonic's president and executive director.

The small, 600 seat venue was built by the French Indochina government and opened for operation in 1911.

For the orchestra, this will be the 460th city it will have visited in its 162 years of performing.

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